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Caring For Colored Treated Hair: The Basic Rules


The simple fact of the matter is this: color treated hair is damaged hair. But that doesn’t necessarily make it something to avoid!


In fact, because our hair is  made up of proteins rather than living cells, it basically begins to dry out from the moment it grows beyond the follicle. That’s why we use conditioning products with oils that keep hair looking shiny and smooth at any length.


The point? If hair experiences damage whether or not it’s ever seen a drop of dye, the fear of fried strands becomes less of a daunting reason to keep us from trying out a new shade.


But before you go to town with a bottle of peroxide (please don’t), keep in mind these basic commandments of caring for color treated hair, so it can remain gorgeous at any color.


Go Pro


When possible, have your hair dye professionally mixed and applied. Salon-quality colors are formulated with oils that help to condition hair as time goes on. If you prefer to color your hair at home, choose a boxed dye that is ammonia free, which will cause less damage.


The 2-Day Rule

Don’t shampoo your hair for two days after coloring it. This first 48 hours is crucial to letting your dye set. In fact, if you can wait three to four days before you lather up, your color will last that much longer. Keep hair looking and feeling clean in between washes using a color-safe  dry shampoo.


Condition is Key


Because color treated hair is more porous than natural hair, it is liable to release color whenever it gets wet. This makes it imperative that you condition after every shampoo. Always cleanse with lukewarm water (hotter temperatures can leech dye and oils from your strands) and try your best to keep hair dry during non-shampoo showers.

Formulated to Last

You may have already heard that sulfate-free products are ideal for caring for color-treated hair, but few people understand why. The short answer is that sulfates contain a type of salt, and salts suck up water. Anything that pulls moisture from hair is no friend of yours! Most color-protecting products are sulfate-free, and aiming for a  salon quality shampoo and conditioner will ensure your hair is getting the best.

Leave It!


Using leave-in conditioners will help to protect hair from heat, which is another enemy of moisture. This is particularly important if you’re fond of the blow dryer or other thermal appliances.


Singles Only

It’s important to limit your hair’s exposure to chemicals. If you’ve recently colored your hair, avoid getting perm or relaxing at the same time. This double processing will cause major frizz and dehydration. There should be at least a few weeks’ time between two chemical treatments, and always seek ammonia-free or natural options when possible.


How often do you color your hair, and what steps do you take to keep hair looking and feeling healthy? Let me know in the comments below, and on  Twitter and Facebook!